UPDATE: Johan Santana to throw before spring training

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UPDATE: Seems the Mets worded their initial announcement a little awkwardly. According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, Santana has been cleared to throw before spring training, not now.

Friday, 5:35 PM: You’ll recall that Johan Santana underwent surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder in September. At the time it was reported that the time table for rehab was 24 weeks and that he could throw at 20 weeks. That would have had him throwing  in mid-February.  Seems he about a month ahead of schedule, because Santana has been cleared to begin a throwing program.

Keep in mind this is a throwing program — not a pitching program — so Santana is still early on his way down the comeback trail.  Most folks believe that he won’t be ready for game action until mid-season.  If the Mets are way out of it by then, I’d guess they’d move it past the All-Star break just to be safe.

But hey, even a little good news is good news, right?

Padres, Mariners join list of teams to extend netting

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The Reds announced earlier that they plan to extend the protective netting at Great American Ball Park in time for Opening Day next season. You can add the Padres and Mariners to what will surely be a growing list.

A young fan was struck in the face by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, which gave new life to the netting debate. Some fans and media types think Major League Baseball is not doing enough to protect fans. While Major League Baseball has issued guidelines for protective netting, it is ultimately up to the teams to decide just how much netting to use.

Zach Britton receives stem cell injection, likely done for the season

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Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.

The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.

Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.